Working in pro stock hockey sticks gives us the chance to see new sticks all the time, and we often get to see trends start to develop, new curves emerge, and how individual players adjust their patterns over the years. From stock curves to slight variations to completely unique blades, we have seen it all over the years. By now you have all seen the infamous Ryan O'Reilly toe kink, but there are many other unique curves worth taking a look at in the NHL.
Though we are seeing fewer and fewer players using custom curves each year (most players tend to stick with the stock curves they grow up with now), at the NHL level players still generally like to tweak their blade to best suit their needs. Sometimes they look pretty standard, but a lot of the time they will appear completely bizarre
We have selected five of our favourite curves we have come across recently to share today. Don't expect to see these on the shelves as retail patterns any time soon, but if these or any other custom curves seem like they might work for you, check out our Custom Curve Collection, on sale now!
Patrick Eaves, Anaheim Ducks - "The Pick Axe"
Patrick Eaves has been in the NHL for years now, so he has had a long time to perfect his curve. From the top down, this is very similar to the P90T Pro Benn curve that has become popular in recently years (Blade 12 on our site), but when looking at the face, the top corner of the toe comes down at almost a 90° angle, creating a dagger-like pointed profile.
Jake Leschyshyn, Vegas Golden Knights Prospect - "The Oar"
One of the biggest blades we have ever come across, this is actually pretty similar to the Bauer P14/CCM P49 curve (Blade 9 on our site), but is absolutely massive and looks like it'd be more effective paddling a boat than scoring goals. Seems to do the trick for Leschyshyn though, who was a 2nd round pick of the Golden Knights in 2017.
Sam Steel, Anaheim Ducks - "The Double Whammy"
Over the years, we have been lucky enough to pick up a couple of different custom Sam Steel curves, both of which are very interesting. On the left, you can see his almost straight blade with a large face and a square toe. On the right is a totally different, but still very unique curve with a toe flip creating a super open face.
Ryan McLeod, Edmonton Oilers Prospect - "The Razor Blade"
This curve is almost the polar opposite of the Leschyshyn stick above. While lots of players prefer a big blade to get as much surface area as possible, McLeod instead has his heel thinned out to the point of almost being non-existent. It is fairly similar to a P46 Bergeron curve (Blade 11 on our site), but the razor thin heel makes this one of the most unique looking blades we have seen.
James van Riemsdyk -"The Hook"
When you think of big power forwards like James van Riemsdyk, you don't typically imagine them using toe hooks like this. Not satisfied with the wide range of toe curves currently available at the retail level, JVR uses a custom curve with a big toe hook and an extremely upright lie. Though not the most absurd looking, this is a unique curve and a good example of the small adaptations many NHL players will make to find their ideal curve.